We'll retain the winning team: Mahela

Planning to wrap up the three-match series, Mahela Jayawardene said they would retain the winning combination in the second Test.

updated: August 03, 2008 13:01 IST
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Planning to wrap up the three-match series here, Sri Lankan Cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene on Wednesday said they would retain the winning combination in the second cricket Test beginning from Thursday.

"We will probably play the same team. We have spoken to the selectors and they are happy to have the same team," Jayawardene said after the team's practice session at the Galle stadium.

Asked if Sri Lanka would try to wrap up the series with a Test to spare, Jayawardene said "that is the plan definitely".

Meanwhile, the ground authorities were working overtime to dry the field before the scheduled start of the match on Thursday following heavy overnight rains.

Jayawardene said besides top spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, Sri Lanka was also looking to the fast bowlers to get early breakthroughs in these conditions.

"When you have two quality spinners in your side they will definitely try to play a big part. We want to create more opportunities with our pacers as well if that is possible.

"That is something we spoke at length in our meetings and see what type of opportunities we could create for the fast bowlers," he said.

Jayawardene said paceman Chaminda Vaas "could not come into the game the other day but he loves these kind of conditions. He has taken most ofhis wickets in these kind of conditions".

Jayawardene said it would be "very good", if the ace bowler gets a few wickets.

Asked ifthe mystery bowler Mendis had been given any instruction, Jayawardene said he was told to play his natural game.

"Go out and enjoy himself. That is what he did in the last game. He had a very big smile when he took the ball and we just want him to continue to do that. It is important that we keep him the way he is," he said.

Jayawardene said Muttiah Muralitharan was also glad to have a spin partner like Mendis.

"Murali is much more comfortable. Murali doesn't have to do all the work by himself. Because he is going to create opportunities. Because if Vaas comes in and create a few problems for Indian batting line way we will be in good hands.

On inclusion of Dhammika Prasad into the side, the Sri Lankan captain said he had impressed quite a lot of people.

"We thought to get him into the set up, give him that feeling in the dressing room and practices so that he gets used to the whole team and environment. He is a good cricketer and a guy who can also bat."

Jayawardene said if the wicket stays dry without rain hampering the game, the ball would start turning on the fourth day.

The skipper said he was happy to play at the Galle stadium where had held good record.